You haven’t lived until you have eaten Mexican Street Corn, known in Mexico as Elote, hot off the street vendors cart with all the toppings.
Much as the North American butter, salt and pepper treatment of fresh corn is delicious, the variety of toppings that work with the street corn adds a lot of interest!
You can make your own ‘Elote’ in North American very easily.
If you are ambitious you can make your own Crema Mexicana. Alternatively you can use sour cream flavoured with fresh lime juice to taste. I would definitely either flavour the Crema with lime juice or squeeze fresh lime juice over the hot corn.
For the chile component – I love a product called Tajin, which is a Mexican spice combo with mild chile peppers and lime. It goes with sweet and savoury. It is delicious sprinkled on fresh pineapple spears or orange segments. You can also use it as a rub for beef or pork, on nachos, guacamole. You get the picture! I have found it in Food Basics or Walmart but the last time I ordered it from Amazon.
True Mexican street corn is grilled but I find grilled corn can be dry so I cheat and steam mine. Feel free to use either method that suits your taste.
What Do I Need for Mexican Street Corn?
- Well, corn on the cob obviously but some people have started stirring the seasoning in to corn kernels in a cup or bowl.
- Tajin or chile powder. I use regular chile powder but you can use other chile powders that suit your taste for heat. You can add a pinch of cayenne easily. If you can find Chile Arbole or Guajillo they would be good as well, mixed with regular chile powder.
- Cotjia cheese. This is a fresh Mexican cheese that is fairly firm, kind of squeaky and salty. I see it in Latin markets but if you can’t find it I would suggest grating fresh, white cheese curds as a substitute.
- Crema Mexicana. Crema Mexicana is a bit richer than sour cream – it is a mix of heavy cream and sour cream that has been left out to culture overnight. You can add lime juice to flavour it if you like.
- Fresh lime. A good squeeze of fresh lime juice (and a segment to go with the beer you might be having with your corn!) suit this beautifully. If you have flavoured the Crema with lime juice you don’t really need a squeeze of fresh lime. (Or fresh lime juice over the melted butter and salt and pepper version is good too!)
Mexican Street Corn (Elote)
- 4 ears fresh corn on the cob
- 1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese can substitute fresh grated, white cheese curds
- 1/4 cup Mexican Crema can substitute sour cream and1 Tbsp lime juice
- Tiajin for seasoning can substitute chile powder
- squeeze of fresh lime optional
- Husk and clean corn. Steam about 13 minutes until corn is tender crisp.
- Sprinkle with Tiajin, grated cheese and drizzle Mexican cream over top. You can also squeeze some fresh lime juice over it if desired.
- Serve immediately.